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The project will analyse the impact on patient outcomes of large scale policy changes to alter the delivery of care in the NHS. These include changes to local area funding, policies and external labour market changes which affect staff employment in the NHS and social care, and changes intended to increase the use of care pathways.

The policy changes we examine are:

  1. Policy changes which affect the level of staffing in the NHS and social care, in particular changes to NHS pay and pensions arrangements and changes to wider economic opportunities, and how these contribute to staffing shortages in the NHS.

  2. The impact of changes to funding at the local purchaser level.

  3. The use of pathways as a policy as it relates to cancer care.

  4. The impact of weather change, temperature and pollution. exposure resulting from climate change on NHS and social care costs.

  5. The impact of COVID on delivery and equity in patient care.

  6. The effect of economic recessions on chronic health conditions.

Principal Investigator: Professor Dame Carol Propper

Researcher: Max Warner

Duration: April 2024 - March 2027

Information Governance

Study title:

Imperial College London research into UK health policy reform
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dame Carol Propper
Co-investigators: Max Warner (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

What are the origins of the data?

NHS England will provide the relevant records from the Civil Registrations Mortality, Patient Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMS), and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data including Admitted Patient Care (APC), Outpatient (OP), Critical Care (CC), Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS) and Accident & Emergency (A&E) datasets to Imperial College London. The Data will contain no identifiable items. The Data will be pseudonymised and it will not be possible to re-identify them through linkage with other data in the possession of the recipient.

What is the purpose of the study?

The purpose of the project is to analyse the impact on patient outcomes of large-scale policy changes to alter the delivery of care in the NHS. These include changes to local area funding, policies and external labour market changes which affect staff employment in the NHS and social care, and changes intended to increase the use of care pathways.

The project will last from 03/04/2024 to 02/03/2027.

Research Aims:

  • Understand how, and which, individuals are affected.
  • Estimate whether the system was able to adapt (measured in terms  of quantity and quality of care delivered to NHS patients).
  • Analyse the direct gains where possible, in terms of lives saved, and the costs in terms of deferred emergency treatments and cancelled elective treatments.
  • Assess what types of policies allow better management of these exogenous shocks, and which will support the NHS to prepare, anticipate and adapt to future shocks with the aim of improving the delivery of healthcare within the NHS.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

The findings of this research study are expected to contribute to evidence-based decision-making for policy- makers, local decision-makers such as doctors, and patients to inform best practice to improve the care, treatment and experience of health care users relevant to the subject matter of the study.

The use of the Data could help:

  • the system to better understand the health and care needs of populations.
  • lead to the identification of health and care system design to improve health and care outcomes.
  • advance understanding of regional and national trends in health and social care needs.
  • inform planning health services and programmes, for example to improve equity of access, experience and outcomes.
  • inform decisions on how to effectively allocate and evaluate funding according to health needs.
  • support knowledge creation or exploratory research (and the innovations and developments that might result from that exploratory work).

Who is organising and funding the research?

The Department of Economics & Public Policy at Imperial College Business School within Imperial College London is organising the research. The project is not externally funded.

Who has reviewed the study?

This study was given favourable opinion by Imperial College Research Ethics Committee (ICREC) and approval by Ruth Nicholson (ref: 7000101).

Contact for further information

If you require further information, please contact Dr Jack Olney, Executive Director of the Centre for Health Economics & Policy Innovation (CHEPI) at Imperial College Business School.

How will we use Information about you?

Imperial College London is the sponsor for this study and will act as the Data Controller for this study. This means that we are responsible for looking after personal data and using it appropriately. Imperial College London will keep the personal data used in this study for 20 years after the study has completed in relation to secondary research data.

We will need to use your information for our research study focusing on how patient outcomes have been impacted by large-scale policy changes in the NHS.

We obtain your information from NHS England after providing assurance that your information will be stored safely and legally. We must justify a valid reason for using your information which will benefit health and care. All the information we hold about you is controlled by legally binding data sharing contracts between the NHS England and Imperial College London.

Data supplied are pseudonymised, a process by which information within a data record that may identify an individual are replaced by artificial identifiers, or pseudonyms which means that individuals are no longer identifiable. Information held includes age, method of admission, source of admission, diagnosis codes, procedure and investigation codes, area of residence, hospital attended, date of attendance, and GP practice of patient. More information on this dataset can be found on the NHS website, Hospital Episode Statistics (HES).

Once we have finished the project, we will keep some of the data so we can check the results. We will write our reports and publications in such a way that no re-identification of individuals will be possible.

Legal basis

We process your personal information for the purposes of scientific research carried out in the public interest in the area of public health. Where we process special categories of personal data (which include data about your health, ethnicity, or sexual orientation), the condition used for processing is ‘necessary for scientific research in accordance with safeguards’.

Sharing your information with others

We do not share your personal data with any third parties outside of the project team at the Centre for Health Economics & Policy Innovation (CHEPI).

What are your choices about how your information is used?

You can stop being part of our research programme at any time, without giving a reason, but we will keep the information about you that we already have. We need to manage your records in specific ways for research to be reliable. This means that we will not be able to let you see or change the data we hold about you.

Where can you find out more about how your information is used?

You can find out more about how we use your information by emailing us at health.economics@imperial.ac.uk


If you wish to raise a complaint about how we have handled your personal data, please contact Imperial College London’s Data Protection Officer via email at dpo@imperial.ac.uk, via telephone on 020 7594 3502 and/or via post at Imperial College London, Data Protection Officer, Faculty Building Level 4, London SW7 2AZ.

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data in a way that is not lawful you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO does recommend that you seek to resolve matters with the data controller (us) first before involving the regulator.